Re-Aligning Your Team and Your Mission in 2017

The end of the year is the perfect time for a reorientation of goals and hopes. We always go into each year with hope that things will be better and we’ll achieve more than we ever have before. But that takes more than a vague goal.

You need a real plan of what you want to achieve and how you are going to get it. Most important of all, you need to make sure every member of your team is ready to face that challenge with the same desire and determination.

The first step of any kind of realignment effort is to ensure everyone on your team is happy with their position and their role. We’ve talked a bit about this at the start of our look ahead to 2017, but it’s worth revisiting one last time to wrap up this series.

Every single stepstone toward success comes from a good team. That’s what the investors want to see first, and cultivating a winning environment for every team member should be your focus as a leader too.

Before you can enact a plan for your team’s future, it’s worth gauging where everyone stands in the current moment. At this time of year, you’re not the only person thinking about your future. Every single member of your team is probably considering their next steps carefully too, and it’s critical that you ensure that they want to take those steps with you and your business.

FirstRound Review published a fantastic long read recently on how to monitor your team health and why this is a perfect time to do it. They highlighted just how important it is to ensure that every single member of your team feels like they have a role to play in the greater whole, and also the various categories through which you can measure that.

Every goal and measure that they work through in the article are team and startup wide. For example, they talk about ‘velocity’, which is essentially the steady accomplishment of goals. This is a great element to address if workflow is a concern. If tasks aren’t getting done at a steady pace then that clearly highlights issues of organization, people management, or perhaps even individual motivation.

Those first two are relatively easy to address. With the help of workflow tools and better management practices, they can be handled comfortably. But the individual motivation and engagement of your team members is another thing entirely.  

This is where the real re-alignment needs to happen. Bring your team together and speak frankly about how they’ve felt the year has gone on a personal and company-wide level. Talk with them about what they think went well and what didn’t. Most of all, talk with them about what they want to achieve in the new year and what they want to help the company achieve.

Not only can this kind of discussion reignite passion from each and every member of your team, but it can also be a legitimate source of inspiration for leadership too. It’s a great reaffirmation that every single person has a say in the forward momentum of your business and that every opinion is valued and respected. When people know that they can simply have a piece in what you can collectively achieve, they will be more invested in getting there.

Any kind of success in 2017 is going to come from your team first. Make sure that they are motivated to take every step with you on that journey. If you can do that, there’s no limit to how far you can go together.

Good Luck and Happy New Year.

— ZK

Ed Lynes13p5Comment